‘Unfathomable’: Friends co-stars respond to Matthew Perry’s sudden death

'Friends' star Matthew Perry dies, aged 54

Four days after the sudden death of Friends co-star Matthew Perry, his former castmates have spoken for the first time.

David Schwimmer, Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow and Matt LeBlanc paid tribute to their friend and colleague in a joint statement to People magazine.

“We are all so utterly devastated by the loss of Matthew. We were more than just cast mates. We are a family,” they said on Tuesday (AEDT).

“There is so much to say, but right now we’re going to take a moment to grieve and process this unfathomable loss.”

“In time we will say more, as and when we are able.

“For now, our thoughts and our love are with Matty’s family, his friends, and everyone who loved him around the world.”

The message was signed by Aniston, Cox, Kudrow, LeBlanc and Schwimmer.

Perry died on October 28 aged 54 after emergency services were called to his Los Angeles home, according to coroner’s records. The investigation into he died continues, and it may be weeks before a cause of death is determined.

Perry gained fame in the 1990s as the wise-cracking Chandler Bing in the top-rated US television comedy. He chronicled his long battle with substance abuse last year in Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing: A Memoir.

He performed alongside his castmates for over a decade in 236 episodes of Friends from 1994-2004.

Series co-creators Marta Kauffman and David Crane, and executive producer Kevin Bright issued their own joint statement over the weekend.

“We are shocked and deeply, deeply saddened by our beloved friend Matthew’s passing … It still seems impossible. All we can say is that we feel blessed to have had him as part of our lives. He was a brilliant talent.”

“It’s a cliche to say that an actor makes a role their own, but in Matthew’s case, there are no truer words. From the day we first heard him embody the role of Chandler Bing, there was no one else for us.”

The statement also included condolences for others grieving Perry, as well as a sweet reference to the Friends title tradition. “We send all of our love to his family and friends.

“This truly is The One Where Our Hearts Are Broken.”

Perry mourned worldwide as more details emerge

Perry is being mourned by fans worldwide, including some who have left flowers and heartfelt tributes outside the New York building used as an exterior for Friends.

The show was actually filmed in a studio. But the six stars immortalised the apartment building at 90 Bedford Street in NY City’s West Village, reported the New York Post. It was home to the characters in the classic sitcom.

“He’s a comedy hero of mine. It’s quite surreal really to be able to come and pay our respects,” British tourist Steve Rogers told the Post.

“He was always Chandler,” he said.

Reports of Perry’s death first emerged on Saturday, after officers from the Los Angeles Police Department responded to a radio call after 4pm for a death investigation of a male in his 50s.

On Monday, the dispatch call to emergency services was released.

Also on Monday (Australian time), the LA County Medical Examiner’s Office said determining the cause of Perry’s death would require additional investigative steps.

It has officially updated its online record, listing it as “deferred”.

“In cases where the cause of death cannot be determined at the time of autopsy, a deferred certificate will be issued until additional studies have been completed,” the LA coroner’s guidelines state.

No foul play was suspected, a law enforcement source told CNN.

TMZ reported on Saturday that there was a call from Perry’s home for first responders to come for someone in cardiac arrest, after the actor was found unresponsive.

It said no drugs were found at the scene.

The dispatch audio, obtained by TMZ, refers to “drowning”. In the 15-second clip, a man says, “Agent 23. Rescue 23. EMS 9 on the radio. In response to the drowning”.

Amid huge publicity two years, the Friends cast finally got together again after more than 20 years for the unscripted special Friends: The Reunion, which premiered in May, 2021, on HBO Max.

“I feel like we can pick up right where we left off, and no time’s passed,” Kudrow told People at the time.

“We’re connected no matter what.”

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